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Letter to Leaders & Swenson Insights

Can A Manager Be Too Nice?

So what happens when a manager is too nice? Alison Green writes in U.S. News that there are four immediate issues from an employee perspective (the italicized comments are mine):

  1. The boss won’t make hard decisions or have hard conversations. That’s true. But managers are there to make the hard decisions. That’s why their paid more.

  2. You’ll have a slacker working at the next desk over. There are always employees who attempt to do as little as possible. A nice manager avoids confrontation with that employee – which often results in everyone lowering their performance standards.

  3. You’ll receive fuzzy, unclear messages. Managers need to be directive and establish expectations early in the employment cycle. Most importantly, managers must follow up to ensure their expectations are met.

  4. You won’t get useful feedback. Good bosses tell employees how they can grow and develop, which necessarily entails pointing out things they could be doing differently, something too-nice managers often find awkward. Another trait all good managers must have is the ability to help their employees develop. Candid feedback is the only way to accomplish this.

Alison Green also writes a wonderful, succinct advice column for managers. I love her thoughts. You can see them here:

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